On Tuesday, two officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police shot and killed 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, less than four miles from where police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown not quite two weeks ago. Powell was suspected of shoplifting. On Wednesday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released video—cell phone footage recorded by an eyewitness—of the fatal encounter. Be warned, the footage is graphic.
The video shows that police told Powell to remove his hand from his pocket, which he did. Police said Powell held a knife in his hand, though it is unclear from the video if Powell actually brandished the knife at the officers. The owner of the convenience store from which Powell allegedly shoplifted told police he had a weapon, a claim corroborated by the owner of a nearby barber shop who called 911 about Powell, according to 911 calls obtained by St. Louis Public Radio.
Powell approached them, shouting, “Shoot me! Shoot me, already!” As Powell continued to approach them, the officers shot and killed him.
Fewer than 20 seconds elapsed from the time police arrived on the scene to the time they shot Powell. The two officers fired 12 shots at Powell, according to police chief Sam Dotson.
Powell allegedly took two energy drinks and donuts from a convenience store, the owner of the store told a 911 dispatcher.
Powell’s death marks the second time in less than two weeks that police in the St. Louis metropolitan area have shot and killed a young black man suspected of a minor crime.
Protestors marched for the tenth night in a row Tuesday evening in response to the shooting of Michael Brown, who was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police department. Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was killed following an altercation after Wilson approached him for jaywalking, police said.
Some eyewitnesses described Tuesday night as the calmest yet in Ferguson since Brown was shot on August 9.
Earlier, supporters of Officer Darren Wilson arrived in Ferguson to demonstrate, drawing jeers from Brown supporters. Wilson’s supporters were escorted away by police before violence erupted.
Meanwhile, some officers in Ferguson responded to the crowds of protesters and legitimate citizen journalists on the scene with violent threats and pointed automatic weapons at the crowd. Not exactly the calm the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri are looking for.
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